A group of faculty, staff, and students developed definitions that describe the various components of civic and community connections at Metropolitan State. The Circle of Engagement helps explain the connection between both academic and student affairs and the community and clarify how what is learned can be beneficial for everyone involved.
The Circle of Engagement has become a very important and public element of the university's commitment to civic engagement and community partnership.
Social Transformation Engagement: a long-term unified commitment by the University and larger community to alter social disparities by working towards social change and justice.
Civic Engagement: active involvement in exercising the power of citizens in public life and learning. This requires developing a combination of knowledge, skills, values, and reflection to promote one or more of the following activities:
- Socially responsible daily behavior
- Direct service
- Community or economic development
- Voting or other formal political activities
- Direct action strategies
- Grass-roots political activity or public policy work
- Community building
- Advocacy through community education
Community-Based Learning: university-wide approach of teaching, research, or experiential learning that combines authentic community or public service activity with academic instruction, focusing on critical, reflective thinking as well as evidence of civic responsibility and/or personal growth.
Community Connection: relationship with one or more community organization(s) and one or more department(s) or program(s) within the university to accomplish a shared objective on a short term basis which may or may not include academic learning
Community Immersion: a university course or program that involves significant student immersion in a community-based project, program, organization or governmental unit with a primary focus on reflective learning that supports or enhances classroom learning
Community-University Partnership: a mutually defined relationship, between at least one university department or program and one or more community-based organization(s), of sufficient scale and duration to significantly benefit the community organization(s) while providing important learning opportunities and reflection for university students
Service to Community: one or more university department(s), program(s) or course(s) are committed to regular opportunities for students and faculty to assist community organizations with their objectives, which may or may not include academic learning.
University-Community Service: a university department, program or course and a community partner are committed to the mutual sharing of objectives in this reciprocal relationship which may or may not include an academic component.